#Kuwait Tweetiest Nation Worldwide!

This week I read that #Kuwait tops the world in number of tweets per capita! That’s pretty awesome and shows just how important understanding social platforms and consumer behaviour is for brands trying to engage with people in Kuwait.

This fact doesn’t surprise me because a couple of weeks ago I went to the Kuwait Social Media Summit 2014 #KWSMS and was featured as one of the speakers at the event. It was an excellent event with some fascinating influencers in government and the social sphere. There we discussed how Kuwait is a real leader in social usage and engagement in the Gulf. I moderated a panel alongside Microsoft MENA, the Ministry of Defence and the European Council on how social media has evolved, what are the challenges governments and large organisations face and how to build strategy.

It was an honour to be there and share my passion for an area of expertise; which has the power to connect the government directly to its citizens. I spoke about one of my favourite topics, “What Makes Great Social?” And for those who wanted to get my presentation I wrote this blog so you can take away the key principles.

For me social media can be an excellent venue for you to interact with your consumers. It holds the promise of rich experiences, engaging content, and real advocacy from fans. But how does that deliver value for the business? Well I believe you need to understand social behaviours and what drives people to act and engage.

What I think is an interesting exercise for any marketer to do is to walk around a mall. When I was there I walked around the biggest mall in Kuwait, The Avenues and saw within 5 mins families taking selfies, women whatsapping their friends with clothes they likes and wanted advice on whether to buy. We are now living in a mobile first world where consumers are hyper connected to the device in their pocket or handbag and if that’s the case, marketers need to adapt their approach to that new behaviour.

Nearly 25 percent of people in the world now use social media. Africa (with 129%) and Asia (76%) show the largest percentage increase in Internet usage. At the end of 2013 there were more social network users in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. The most engaged populations are now here in the Middle East Region.

What’s even more exciting is Facebook’s updates and its focus on being a mobile first platform connects our personal to the global. With a monthly user base the size of China Facebook continues to be the ‘Big Daddy’ of social networks.

WhatsApp has shown incredible growth over the few years, the last figures I saw showed a total of 64 billion messages a day! There is no other platform I know of that has that sort of scale.

This new technology revolution has caused a fundamental shift in the way your customers and consumers form opinions and make purchase decisions. Since 2007 more and more people prefer to trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. So as a business or a government if you want to affect that you need to engage with people in a different way and a well constructed social strategy helps you do that.

How by creating remarkable experiences and relationships to inspire advocacy and action and, ultimately, achieve business objectives.

So is there a framework you can apply to your own business needs? Absolutely! You should think about social experiences around 4 key principles. Let me explain what they are:

Heartstrings

Start with a powerful heart opening sight that drives behavior & emotions.

What this means for you?

  • Search for truth & insights
  • Use social experiments as content
  • Make people care

As we all know people don’t follow passively, instead, people spread deliberately, so you must understand what connects your audience to what you’re trying to share with them. Make sure your character and personality on social is well thought out.

Have a Purpose — We’re not just marketers, we’re citizens. Which means you should ask, what does this mean for you? How are we making peoples lives better? What Social Experiments can bring this to life? This allows you to set the Agenda, challenge conventional thinking and demonstrate the power great content can have.

In order to have a purpose worth fighting for you need to understand the conversations are already taking place. You need to be part of them, see how people are reacting and instead of telling people what your point of view is, involve them and show them what your point of view is.

Be Relevant A social brand character becomes something (or “someone”) that your audience wants to interact with. Understand how you’re target audience uses social

What does this mean for you?

  • Collaboration with your customers is key
  • Make their story part of yours

Always give people a role to play, ask their opinion; show you value them, make it about them and ensure your audience can easily share the story to their network. A great example of this is a campaigns specifically designed to engage a teenage audience around a data offering. It was created by UK telco 3 check it out here.

Real time

From breaking news and emerging trends to the in-the-moment Fan Feedback brands and companies ramp up their relevance when they market in real time. In this world, the reaction to the story or campaign becomes part of the story. Check out one of my favourite sports marketing activations by the masters of sports sponsorship Adidas.

What does this means for you?

  • Be fleet of foot and responsive
  • Be always on
  • Creative platforms to support the long-term content calendar

In order to be socially successful you need to ask/tell yourself:

• What is your purpose on social? Do #WorkThatMatters

• Why would people CARE enough to share? #Shareworthy

• What are we doing to invite participation and how do we become a part of what interested people? #CulturallyRelevant

• Provide platforms where people can participate in your story and you will create true social change

• Unlock your data for real time insights and service improvements

Please let me know what you think the key principles of great social are. I am always interested to hear your thoughts and curate feedback.


Originally published at emalinakeruae.tumblr.com.